View the list Pray as though everything depended on God. [138], American poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. [135] Modern literary critic Van Wyck Brooks wrote that Lowell's poetry was forgettable: "one read them five times over and still forgot them, as if this excellent verse had been written in water. Light is the symbol of truth. These books, together with the publication that year of the second series of his Poems, made Lowell the most popular new figure in American literature. "[132] Even his friend Richard Henry Dana Jr. questioned Lowell's abilities, calling him "very clever, entertaining & good humored ... but he is rather a trifler, after all. Work as though everything depended on you. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Copy. "[68] Shortly thereafter, in May, he left The Atlantic Monthly when James T. Fields took over as editor; the magazine had been purchased by Ticknor and Fields for $10,000 two years before. "[132] Nonetheless, in 1969 the Modern Language Association established a prize named after Lowell, awarded annually for "an outstanding literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography. These and other critical essays were collected in the two series of Among My Books (1870, 1876). Emerson referred to his poem's "high thought & sentiment" and James Freeman Clarke noted its "grandeur of tone". James Russell Lowell (22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, satirist, writer, diplomat, and abolitionist. Her death left Lowell depressed and reclusive for six months, despite the birth of his son Walter by the end of the year. Facebook gives people the power to share … He was a highly influential man of letters in his day, but his reputation declined in the 20th century. Henceforth his literary production comprised mainly prose essays on topics of literature, history, and politics. He was editor with Charles Eliot Norton of North American Review from 1864 to 1872, and during this time appeared his series of critical essays on such major literary figures as Dante, Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, John Milton, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. He used poetry for reform, particularly in abolitionism. His last few months, he was administered opium for the pain and was rarely fully conscious. [98] By this time, most of his friends were dead, including Quincy, Longfellow, Dana, and Emerson, leaving him depressed and contemplating suicide again. Copy. "[119] After his marriage, Lowell at first did not share his wife's enthusiasm for the cause, but he was eventually pulled in. 1. These writers usually used conventional forms and meters in their poetry, making them suitable for families entertaining at their fireside. [60] It was in 1876 that Lowell first stepped into the field of politics. With its first issue in November of that year, he at once gave the magazine the stamp of high literature and of bold speech on public affairs. [51], At the invitation of his cousin John Amory Lowell, James Russell Lowell was asked to deliver a lecture at the prestigious Lowell Institute. His friend Edward Everett Hale denied these allegations. He wrote a series on "Anti-Slavery in the United States" for the Daily News, though his series was discontinued by the editors after four articles in May 1846. [109] He subscribed to the common nineteenth-century belief that the poet was a prophet but went further, linking religion, nature, and poetry, as well as social reform. [76], In the 1860s, Lowell's friend Longfellow spent several years translating Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and regularly invited others to help him on Wednesday evenings. [121] Even so, he did not always fully agree with the followers of the movement. He traveled to Europe before officially assuming his teaching duties in 1856, and married Frances Dunlap shortly thereafter in 1857. [129], Contemporary critic and editor Margaret Fuller wrote, "his verse is stereotyped; his thought sounds no depth, and posterity will not remember him. "[58], He returned to the United States in the summer of 1856 and began his college duties. "[59], In the autumn of 1857, The Atlantic Monthly was established, and Lowell was its first editor. He spent his last years in Cambridge in the same estate where he was born, and died there in 1891. Lowell believed that the poet played an important role as a prophet and critic of society. [105] After services in the Appleton Chapel, he was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery. He published his first collection of poetry in 1841 and married Maria White in 1844. Here, a fictional version of Lowell says he does not believe that women will ever be equal to men in the arts and "the two sexes cannot be ranked counterparts". [27] He again considered suicide, writing to a friend that he thought "of my razors and my throat and that I am a fool and a coward not to end it all at once". He went on to publish several other poetry collections and essay collections throughout his literary career. "[36] Lowell offered his New York friend Charles Frederick Briggs all the profits from the book's success (which proved relatively small), despite his own financial needs. Though not officially affiliated with them, he shared some of their ideals, including the belief that writers have an inherent insight into the moral nature of humanity and have an obligation for literary action along with their aesthetic function. After his second wife died in 1885, Lowell retired from public life. President Rutherford B. Hayes rewarded Lowell’s support in the Republican convention in 1876 by appointing him minister to Spain (1877–80) and ambassador to Great Britain (1880–85). [46] In 1855, Lowell oversaw the publication of a memorial volume of his wife's poetry, with only fifty copies for private circulation. [12], Lowell did not know what vocation to choose after graduating, and he vacillated among business, the ministry, medicine, and law. His friend Longfellow was especially concerned about his fanaticism for temperance, worrying that Lowell would ask him to destroy his wine cellar. [54] While his series was still in progress, Lowell was offered the Smith Professorship of Modern Languages at Harvard, a post vacated by Longfellow, at an annual salary of $1,200, though he never applied for it. Guv'ment aint to answer to it, [99] Lowell spent part of the 1880s delivering various speeches,[100] and his last published works were mostly collections of essays, including Political Essays, and a collection of his poems Heartsease and Rue in 1888. Maria's father Abijah White, a wealthy merchant from Watertown, insisted that their wedding be postponed until Lowell had gainful employment. [11] He had composed the poem in Concord,[12] where he had been exiled by the Harvard faculty to the care of the Rev. [118] Even before his marriage to abolitionist Maria White, Lowell wrote: "The abolitionists are the only ones with whom I sympathize of the present extant parties. The couple had several children, though only one survived past childhood. James Russell Lowell; Arguments and Controversy. His Class Day poem satirized the social movements of the day; abolitionists, Thomas Carlyle, Emerson, and the Transcendentalists were treated. As he wrote to his friend Briggs, "I am back again to the place I love best. If it be needful to the successful prosecution of the war, shall anyone oppose it? [44] Despite his self-described "naturally joyous" nature,[47] life for Lowell at Elmwood was further complicated by his father becoming deaf in his old age, and the deteriorating mental state of his sister Rebecca, who sometimes went a week without speaking. [97] He then spent time in Boston with his sister before returning to Elmwood in November 1889. Get all the lyrics to songs by James Russell Lowell and join the Genius community of music scholars to learn the meaning behind the lyrics. [83], Lowell resigned from his Harvard professorship in 1874, though he was persuaded to continue teaching through 1877. James Russell Lowell (/ˈloʊəl/; February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He was a member of the eighth generation of the Lowell family, the descendants of Percival Lowle who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1639. "[116] Lowell's satires and use of dialect were an inspiration for writers like Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, H. L. Mencken, and Ring Lardner. [79] Lowell was one of the main members of the so-called "Dante Club", along with William Dean Howells, Charles Eliot Norton and other occasional guests. [17] She, too, wrote poetry, and the next twelve years of Lowell's life were deeply affected by her influence. [4] By the time that James was born, the family owned a large estate in Cambridge called Elmwood. "[117] Freed slaves, he wrote, were "dirty, lazy & lying". [55] Lowell, who had never spoken in public before, was praised for these lectures. "[127] Fellow Fireside Poet John Greenleaf Whittier praised Lowell by writing two poems in his honor and calling him "our new Theocritus" and "one of the strongest and manliest of our writers–a republican poet who dares to speak brave words of unpopular truth". [61] He summed up his method: "True scholarship consists in knowing not what things exists, but what they mean; it is not memory but judgment. [24] In Philadelphia, he became a contributing editor for the Pennsylvania Freeman, an abolitionist newspaper. [92] Queen Victoria commented that she had never seen an ambassador who "created so much interest and won so much regard as Mr. His parents were the Reverend Charles Lowell (1782–1861), a minister at a Unitarian church in Boston who had previously studied theology at Edinburgh, and Harriett Brackett Spence Lowell. He attended William Wells School and Harvard University, where he graduated with a degree in law. "[123], Lowell was also involved in other reform movements. [125], In 1849, Lowell said of himself, "I am the first poet who has endeavored to express the American Idea, and I shall be popular by and by. James Russell Lowell photographed by Mathew Brady circa 1855-1865 In a society like ours, where every man may transmute his private thought into history and destiny by dropping it into the ballot-box, a peculiar responsibility rests upon the individual. [94] Lowell was popular enough that he was offered a professorship at Oxford after his recall by President Grover Cleveland, though the offer was declined. Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838, despite his reputation as a troublemaker, and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School. [66] Lowell wrote, "My second marriage was the wisest act of my life, & as long as I am sure of it, I can afford to wait till my friends agree with me. [41] To pay for the trip, Lowell sold land around Elmwood, intending to sell off further acres of the estate over time to supplement his income, ultimately selling off 25 of the original 30 acres (120,000 m2). "[133] In the twentieth century, poet Richard Armour dismissed Lowell, writing: "As a Harvard graduate and an editor for the Atlantic Monthly, it must have been difficult for Lowell to write like an illiterate oaf, but he succeeded. Lowell was the archetypal New England man of letters, remarkable for his cultivation and charm, his deep learning, and his varied literary talents. In May 1877, President Hayes, an admirer of The Biglow Papers, sent William Dean Howells to Lowell with a handwritten note proffering an ambassadorship to either Austria or Russia; Lowell declined, but noted his interest in Spanish literature. [4] He attended school under Sophia Dana, who later married George Ripley; he later studied at a school run by a particularly harsh disciplinarian, where one of his classmates was Richard Henry Dana Jr.[7]. [106] After his death, Norton served as his literary executor and published several collections of Lowell's works and his letters.[107]. [31] Lowell was treated for an eye disease in New York shortly after the first issue, and in his absence Carter did a poor job of managing the journal. James Russell Lowell: Among My Books; Adversity. Even so, he wrote, "We believe the white race, by their intellectual and traditional superiority, will retain sufficient ascendancy to prevent any serious mischief from the new order of things. East Louisville Quadrangle (7.5) Universal Transverse Mercator Coordinates: 16 609500 4227200 – James Russell Lowell. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/biography/James-Russell-Lowell, Turner Classic Movies - Biography of Yasujiro Ozu, Poetry Foundation - Biography of James Russell Lowell, The Walden Woods Project - James Russell Lowell, American Studies at The University of Virginia - Biography of James Russell Lowell, James Russell Lowell - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). He advocated suffrage for blacks, yet he noted that their ability to vote could be troublesome. I begin to feel more like my old self than I have these ten years. Even so, he wrote, "If the destruction of slavery is to be a consequence of the war, shall we regret it? [88] Lowell was well-prepared for his political role, having been trained in law, as well as being able to read in multiple languages. [48] He again cut himself off from others, becoming reclusive at Elmwood, and his private diaries from this time period are riddled with the initials of his wife. [22] His second volume of poems Miscellaneous Poems expressed these antislavery thoughts, and its 1,500 copies sold well. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, James Russell Lowell School (Philadelphia), Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, "The Last Tribute Paid. [29] Lowell wrote that it would "furnish the intelligent and reflecting portion of the Reading Public with a rational substitute for the enormous quantity of thrice-diluted trash, in the shape of namby-pamby love tales and sketches, which is monthly poured out to them by many of our popular Magazines. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets. Quotations by James Russell Lowell, American Poet, Born February 22, 1819. [87] The Spanish media referred to him as "José Bighlow". God, give us Peace! He built poems: he didn't put in the seed, and water the seed, and send down his sun—letting the rest take care of itself: he measured his poems—kept them within formula. [137] The poem was also the source of the hymn Once to Every Man and Nation. God'll send the bill to you. James Russell Lowell (; February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat.He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets. [15], In late 1839, Lowell met Maria White through her brother William, a classmate at Harvard,[16] and the two became engaged in the autumn of 1840. Hayes. James Russell Lowell: Fireside Travels; Ambition. The book, dedicated to Norton, collected poems Lowell had written within the previous twenty years and was his first poetry collection since 1848. [42] Walter died suddenly in Rome of cholera, and Lowell and his wife, with their daughter Mabel, returned to the United States in October 1852. In 1855 his lectures on English poets before the Lowell Institute led to his appointment as Smith professor of modern languages at Harvard University, succeeding Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As he said later, "I was as great an ass as ever brayed & thought it singing. [64] Dunlap, niece of the former governor of Maine Robert P. Dunlap,[65] was a friend of Lowell's first wife and formerly wealthy, though she and her family had fallen into reduced circumstances. M.L. [86] Lowell sailed from Boston on July 14, 1877, and, though he expected he would be away for a year or two, did not return to the United States until 1885, with the violinist Ole Bull renting Elmwood for a portion of that time. [30] The first issue of the journal included the first appearance of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. [96], He returned to the United States by June 1885, living with his daughter and her husband in Southboro, Massachusetts. [17] They were finally married on December 26, 1844,[18] shortly after the groom published Conversations on the Old Poets, a collection of his previously published essays. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of James Russell Lowell: Poetry. [128] British author Thomas Hughes referred to Lowell as one of the most important writers in the United States: "Greece had her Aristophanes; Rome her Juvenal; Spain has had her Cervantes; France her Rabelais, her Molière, her Voltaire; Germany her Jean Paul, her Heine; England her Swift, her Thackeray; and America has her Lowell. Early in his career, James Russell Lowell's writing was influenced by Swedenborgianism, a Spiritualism-infused form of Christianity founded by Emanuel Swedenborg, causing Frances Longfellow (wife of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) to mention that "he has been long in the habit of seeing spirits". [32] He had published these articles anonymously, believing that they would have more impact if they were not known to be the work of a committed abolitionist. Also that year, the Boston Critic dedicated a special issue to Lowell on his seventieth birthday to recollections and reminiscences by his friends, including former presidents Hayes and Benjamin Harrison and British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone as well as Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Francis Parkman. [8] In his sophomore year, he was absent from required chapel attendance 14 times and from classes 56 times. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [63], Lowell had intended never to remarry after the death of his wife Maria White. [90], In January 1880, Lowell was informed of his appointment as Minister to England, his nomination made without his knowledge as far back as June 1879. [26] Lowell was very affected by the loss of almost all of his children. KY-229 Location: Present Owner: • Present Occupant: Present Use: Statement of Significance: 4501 Crittenden Drive Louisville Jefferson County Kentucky U.S.G.S. Beauty Future Dreams Believe. Yellin, Jean Fagan. Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. [56] The job description was changing after Longfellow; instead of teaching languages directly, Lowell would supervise the department and deliver two lecture courses per year on topics of his own choosing. Genre/Form: Biographies Biography: Additional Physical Format: Online version: Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902. James Russell Lowell 2045 Words | 9 Pages "There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme ; He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders ; " -Fable for Critics, Lowell James Russell Lowell was a father and a husband, but most importantly he was a man of literature. Educated at Harvard College, he tried the law, but soon gave it up for literature. [89] Lowell's social life improved when the Spanish Academy elected him a corresponding member in late 1878, allowing him contribute to the preparation of a new dictionary. Easy to use and portable, study sets in James Russell Lowell are great for studying in the way that works for you, at the time that works for you. [115], Lowell is considered one of the Fireside Poets, a group of writers from New England in the 1840s who all had a substantial national following and whose work was often read aloud by the family fireplace. [74], Shortly after Lincoln's assassination, Lowell was asked to present a poem at Harvard in memory of graduates killed in the war. [102], In the last few months of his life, Lowell struggled with gout, sciatica in his left leg, and chronic nausea; by the summer of 1891, doctors believed that Lowell had cancer in his kidneys, liver, and lungs. [78] Lowell later expanded it with a strophe to Lincoln. [26] Just before her burial, her coffin was opened so that her daughter Mabel could see her face while Lowell "leaned for a long while against a tree weeping", according to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, who were in attendance. [60] He focused on teaching literature, rather than etymology, hoping that his students would learn to enjoy the sound, rhythm, and flow of poetry rather than the technique of words. He said that his first book of poetry A Year's Life (1841) "owes all its beauty to her", though it only sold 300 copies. [76] Lowell had high hopes for his performance but was overshadowed by the other notables presenting works that day, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets that rivaled the popularity of British poets. The majority of these people, he said, "treat ideas as ignorant persons do cherries. [23] The magazine ceased publication after three monthly numbers beginning in January 1843, leaving Lowell $1,800 in debt. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of James Russell Lowell: Poetry. The death of three of Lowell’s children was followed by the death of his wife in 1853. During this time, he was admittedly depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. "I did not make the hit I expected", he wrote, "and am ashamed at having been tempted again to think I could write poetry, a delusion from which I have been tolerably free these dozen years. See more ideas about james russell lowell, lowell… [39] Under the surface, The Biglow Papers was also a denunciation of the Mexican–American War and war in general. If I die I shall have engraved on my tombstone that I died of der, die, das, not because I caught them but because I couldn't. They think them unwholesome unless they are swallowed, stones and all. [3] His parents were the Reverend Charles Lowell (1782–1861), a minister at a Unitarian church in Boston who had previously studied theology at Edinburgh, and Harriett Brackett Spence Lowell. Corrections? [23] There are many references to Lowell's drinking during his college years, and part of his reputation in school was based on it. [35], In 1848, Lowell also published The Biglow Papers, later named by the Grolier Club as the most influential book of 1848. James Russell Lowell; James Russell Lowell. [98] His last few years he traveled back to England periodically[101] and when he returned to the United States in the fall of 1889, he moved back to Elmwood[102] with Mabel, while her husband worked for clients in New York and New Jersey. [59] Towards the end of his professorship, then-president of Harvard Charles William Eliot noted that Lowell seemed to have "no natural inclination" to teach; Lowell agreed, but retained his position for twenty years. [52] Some speculated the opportunity was because of the family connection, offered as an attempt to bring him out of his depression. "[136], Lowell's poem "The Present Crisis", an early work that addressed the national crisis over slavery leading up to the Civil War, has had an impact in the modern civil rights movement. 1. Essays for James Russell Lowell: Poetry. [95], His second wife, Frances, died on February 19, 1885, while still in England. However, his commitment to the anti-slavery cause wavered over the years, as did his opinion on African-Americans. He became involved in the movement to abolish slavery, with Lowell using poetry to express his anti-slavery views and taking a job in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the editor of an abolitionist newspaper. [56] Lowell and Dunlap married on September 16, 1857, in a ceremony performed by his brother. [53] Lowell chose to speak on "The English Poets", telling his friend Briggs that he would take revenge on dead poets "for the injuries received by one whom the public won't allow among the living". Lowell". [29] He agreed with his neighbor Longfellow that "whoever is most universal, is also most national". When he drank, he had wild mood swings, ranging from euphoria to frenzy. In 1844 he was married to the gifted poet Maria White, who had inspired his poems in A Year’s Life (1841) and who would help him channel his energies into fruitful directions. From 1845 to 1850 he wrote about 50 antislavery articles for periodicals. [86] Lowell was then offered and accepted the role of Minister to the court of Spain at an annual salary of $12,000. He ultimately enrolled at Harvard Law School in 1840 and was admitted to the bar two years later. James Russell Lowell: Poetry essays are academic essays for citation. [37] The first 1,500 copies sold out within a week and a second edition was soon issued—though Lowell made no profit, as he had to absorb the cost of stereotyping the book himself. He also edited volumes with biographical sketches for a series on British Poets. On August 12, 1891, at Elmwood the proviso that he held this professorship for the next 20.... 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